Glanville looking for a little more action at Portland State
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jerry Glanville is selling a dream.
So on Day 2 of fall practice -- better known as "Breakfast with Jerry" here on the Park Blocks -- it's no surprise to see the Pied Piper of Portland walking around the Peter W. Stott Community Field shortly after 7 a.m. in his familiar all-black outfit -- complete with sunglasses.He doesn't seem to notice it's cloudy and raining. In Jerry's world, black isn't simply a color. It's an attitude. And it includes sunglasses. Even though the 65-year-old former NFL coach (and race car driver) will be prowling a college sideline as a head coach for the first time in his colorful and lengthy career, he's convinced that the move from Honolulu, where he was Hawaii's defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was the right one. "We have good senior leadership and I think people here like to go to work," Glanville said after Tuesday's practice. "I didn't realize what a good job this was until this summer when we had a sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade camp. This area is full of people with good work habits. This area is full of people with courage. That changes your job. "It hit me that this is a better job than anyone in the country thought it was."
Including Glanville.When he made the trip from Hawaii to Oregon for an interview in late February, it was simply as a courtesy to his then-boss June Jones and his long-time friend Mouse Davis -- a pair of Portland State Hall of Famers.
"I'm more proud to be here every day because you find another reason why. We're in the world's best-kept secret."
On this day, the weather is helping that cause.So, too, are the Oregon's two Division I-A programs. Both Oregon and Oregon State, thanks in large part to their recent success, command much of the state's fan and media attention when it comes to football. And then there's the city's love affair with this summer's No. 1 overall NBA draft choice Greg Oden. But none of these obstacles concern Glanville. Neither does the lack of amenities currently at his disposal. Portland State plays its home games at venerable PGE Park, a Triple-A baseball stadium located off campus. And the Vikings must share the urban school's one practice field with seemingly anyone and everyone. Following Monday's first practice, Stott Field, which was missing its only goalpost thanks to some vandals, was used for a high school cheerleading camp, ultimate Frisbee and a women's club soccer team. Portland State also has no training table to help properly feed its athletes, something Glanville is working to change.
Football According To Jerry
|On offense: "You run the football for toughness. You run the ball to tell your opponent that you're as tough as they are. But you throw the ball to ring the bell." On defense: "We'll be the hardest-hitting football team on the West Coast. Those who don't want to hit people, we'll help them transfer." On toughness: "If you think you're tougher than we are, we're going to run a play called 32 Cut, and I don't care if we gain a yard, we're going to knock somebody down."|
"I will not score a touchdown, I will not make a tackle, I will not make a play. But the way I coach, when we get to the stadium the team doesn't need me. The preparation that takes place all happens before you arrive."And the Vikings arrive to start their preparation before most teams because practice always starts at 7 a.m. Portland State practices early every day -- and will do so all fall -- in part because it gives the coaches a chance to break down film and present the off-the-field learning to the players at meetings later the same day. Right now the Portland State players are still trying to digest Glanville's 3-4 defense and the even more intricate run-and-shoot offense that was first introduced and perfected here by Davis during his stint as head coach from 1975-80 -- when his first two quarterbacks were June Jones and Neil Lomax.
"The real fun of this game is playing the games," said the soon-to-be 75-year-old Davis, who also was on Hawaii's staff until Glanville convinced him to make a return engagement with the Vikings. "But you must go through the practice to get to the fun. We'll get to the point where we're executing but we're not there yet."It's the same old deal: You gotta win. And it takes a little while to get it going. You've got to get to the point where you execute and we've got to work harder at that. I think we'll be a very good team this year." Many of the preseason prognosticators agree. Portland State is picked as high as seventh nationally in Division I-AA by one publication, and the Vikings are predicted by both the coaches and the media to finish second in the Big Sky Conference to defending league champion and national semifinalist Montana. Glanville might have to work some magic to make that happen as Portland State, which finished 7-4 and second in the Big Sky last season, returns just nine starters (five offense, four defense) and 40 lettermen. So far the magic has been in getting his players to believe in what he's trying to build before the first game at nationally ranked McNeese State.
To that end Glanville can be found patrolling his half of the practice field (Davis is in charge of the offensive half and the two close friends stay out of each other's way during practice) as he goes from one unit to another assessing his players' progress.
What's evident at every stop, and before every play in simulated situations, is that Glanville is very comfortable teaching the finer points of his defense and does so by asking a lot of questions and rarely raising his voice.
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2007 College Football Preview
The long wait for the start of the 2007 college football season is finally over. Get ready for the season with an in-depth look at the teams, trends, players and coaches. Index
• Forde: Arkansas' favorite son also rising
• Forde: Welcome to Trickeration Nation
• Albright: Glanville has Portland State all shook up
• Maisel: Boise State part of quiet revolution
• Edwards: BCS system needs update
• Forde: QBs face burden of proof in '07
• Schlabach: Biggest shoes to fill this season
• Maisel: (Southern) State of the Game
• Schlabach: Hot or Not for 2007
• Ivan Maisel's preseason All-America team
• Heisman Watch: Voters go Hog wild
• SportsNation: Rank the Heisman contenders Fearless Forecasts
• Experts: Conference title projections
• Maisel/Schlabach: Bowl predictions
• McShay: Don't sleep on these teams
• Games to watch: National | Conference Campus Confidential
• Forde: Woodson stepping out of the shadow
• Schlabach: Shhhh! Uncovering 2007's secrets
• McShay: Seven secrets from the film room
• Feldman: Saturday's secret agents revealed
• EA Sports: Trick play simulations
• Arkansas: Wildhog formation
• Boise State: Statue of Liberty
• LSU: Flea flicker
• Texas: Wide receiver pass
• USC: Halfback pass ACC Features
• Schlabach: ACC needs quality Miami, FSU
• Schlabach: Wright, Freeman still battling at Miami
• Schlabach: Wake sets bar high for encore
• Schlabach: Five ACC predictions Big East Features
• Maisel: What's next for the Big East?
• Maisel: USF's QB exudes old school cool
• Maisel: Five Big East predictions Big Ten Features
• Schlabach: Michigan seniors return on a mission
• Schlabach: Downsized Hill means supersized play
• Schlabach: Big Ten at the crossroads
• Schlabach: Five Big Ten predictions Pac-10 Features
• Forde: Now is the time for UCLA
• Forde: Five Pac-10 predictions
• Maisel: After long wait, Turner ready for stardom
• Maisel: Ten Little Trojans running backs
• Feldman: DeSean Jackson's born identity SEC Features
• Maisel: Saban snapshot reveals double feature
• Higgins: Spurrier, Gamecocks thinking big
• Schlabach: SEC balance of power shifts East
• Schlabach: Five SEC predictions Coaching Corner
• Schlabach: Coaches on the hot seat
• Schlabach: Rise of the assistants
• McShay: Assistant coaches on the rise
• McShay: Position coaches who deliver Rule Changes
• Kickoffs, timing rules highlight changes
• McShay: Changes put premium on specialists
• College Football Live: Impact of kickoff rule
• Joe Tiller: Kickoff changes raise safety issues
• College Football Live: Matter of time Campus Call
ESPN.com will hit eight practice sessions to get an early pulse on the season. Check out what's happening on campus.
• Aug. 7: Gators looking for bite on D
• Aug. 6: ND's Weis plays respect card |
McKnight makes USC debut
• Aug. 5: Brown resolute in face of Texas' troubles
• Aug. 4: WVU has speed to burn
• Aug. 3: Taylor made Jacket
• Aug. 2: Hokies begin road back to normalcy
• Aug. 1: Report day is still a thrill for Tuberville